The Franklin Institute Awards

2024 Franklin Institute Awards

Awards Week: April 15-19, 2024 
Awards Ceremony & Dinner: April 18, 2024

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2024 Awards Laureates

The Franklin Institute is pleased to announce The Franklin Institute Awards Class of 2024! Please join us in congratulating our bicentennial class of laureates for their remarkable achievements during The Franklin Institute Awards Week—April 15–19, 2024.

David A. Weitz, Ph.D., 2024 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science
Lisa Su, Ph.D., 2024 Bower Award for Business Leadership
Gabriela S. Schlau-Cohen, Ph.D., 2024 Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award
Paula T. Hammond, Ph.D., 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry
Janet F. Werker, Ph.D., O.C., FRSC, 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science
Paul D. N. Hebert, Ph.D., FRSC, O.C., 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science
Robert M. Metcalfe, Ph.D., 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering
Joanne Chory, Ph.D., 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science
Mary C. Boyce, Ph.D., 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering

Celebrating its 200th year, The Franklin Institute Awards pays tribute to our namesake and America’s first citizen scientist, Benjamin Franklin, by honoring the greatest minds in science, engineering, and industry. Through their boundless creativity and passion for discovery, our newest laureates have seen the previously invisible, pushed the limits of nature’s toolkit, and dreamed up solutions to global challenges—advancing health, sustainability, and human connection. Beyond their remarkable achievements, they are mentors and role models, guiding the next generation of trailblazers and creating a better future for us all.

The Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony and Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2024. For event information, https://www.fi.edu/en/awards/ceremony-and-dinner .

Presenting Sponsor

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Bank of America Logo

 

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200th Anniversary Sponsors
 
Year
2024
Subject
Mechanical Engineering
Award
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Affiliation

Columbia University │ New York, New York

Citation

For transformative contributions to our understanding of the physical behavior of polymers, materials made of long chains of molecules, leading to innovative product development of rubber and other soft materials. 

Year
2024
Subject
Life Science
Award
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Affiliation

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies │ La Jolla, California

Citation

For applying genetics to the understanding of how plants sense and respond to light, and for inspiring new strategies for utilizing plants to combat climate change.

Year
2024
Subject
Chemistry
Award
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Affiliation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology │ Cambridge, Massachusetts

Citation

For innovative methods to create novel materials one molecular layer at a time, and for applying these materials to areas ranging from drug delivery to energy storage.

Year
2024
Subject
Earth and Environmental Science
Award
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Affiliation

University of Guelph │ Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Citation

For his bold vision to catalog every living organism using a small piece of DNA—a DNA barcode—which allows scientists to rapidly discover new species and assess biodiversity, and which provides everyone with a means to explore biodiversity for themselves.  

Year
2024
Subject
Electrical Engineering
Award
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Affiliation

The University of Texas at Austin │ Austin, Texas

Citation

For his pioneering role in the design, development, and commercialization of Ethernet, an interface for networking and file sharing between computers.

Year
2024
Subject
Chemistry
Award
Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award
Affiliation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology │ Cambridge, Massachusetts

Citation

For illuminating the fundamental chemical processes that protect plants from sun damage, thereby uncovering novel approaches to increase crop yields.

Year
2024
Subject
Leadership
Award
Bower Award for Business Leadership
Affiliation

AMD | Austin, Texas

Citation

For her transformational leadership of AMD, a leader in high-performance and adaptive computing and one of the fastest growing semiconductor companies in the world. As an accomplished engineer and champion for diversity and women in tech, Dr. Su’s bold vision to deliver the next generation of computing and AI solutions has led to AMD becoming one of the industry’s most influential companies.

Year
2024
Subject
Physics
Award
Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science
Affiliation

Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts

Citation

For transforming our fundamental understanding of squishy materials ranging from gels, polymers, colloids, and emulsions to living organisms. His innovations led to the development of microdevices for applications ranging from rapid disease screening and drug discovery to cosmetic products. A master educator, he has popularized science through the physics of cooking.

Year
2024
Subject
Computer and Cognitive Science
Award
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Affiliation

The University of British Columbia │ Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Citation

For charting how children learn the sounds of languages and how their brains change and adapt in critical ways as they do so.  Her work helps us understand typical and atypical human development.

Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony 2023

2024 Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony & Dinner

Please join The Franklin Institute on April 18, 2024, to celebrate its Bicentennial Anniversary and honor the 2024 Class of Franklin Laureates.

 

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Sponsorship & Tickets

Benjamin Franklin Memorial statue with dramatic dark blue lighting

Call for Nominations

The Franklin Institute is currently accepting nominations for the Benjamin Franklin Medals, the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, and the Bower Award for Business Leadership.

 

 

Marie Curie | ca. 1900 | Tekniska Museet, Stockholm

Case Files

A Unique Repository in the History of Science and Technology. As the documentary record of The Franklin Institute Awards program, the Case Files are filled with stories of scientific enterprise dating back to 1824, when the Institute was founded to train artisans and mechanics in the fundamentals of science.

Since 1824, The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia has honored the legacy of Benjamin Franklin by presenting awards for outstanding achievements in science, engineering, and industry.

As the oldest comprehensive science and technology awards program in the United States, The Franklin Institute Awards Program has recognized more than 2,000 of the most pioneering scientists, engineers, inventors, and innovators from across the globe.

Its history documents the course of human discovery and advancement through the past two centuries—from the diesel engine to the Mars rover, from the typewriter to the cell phone, and from x-ray technology to genome editing. Previous laureates include Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Pierre and Marie Curie, Max Planck, Orville Wright, Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ruth Patrick, Jacques Cousteau, Stephen Hawking, Martin Rees, Gordon Moore, Shuji Nakamura, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Blackburn, Bill Gates, Jim West and Gerhard Sessler, Cornelia Bargmann, John Goodenough, Jim Allison, and Frances Arnold.

The Franklin Institute Awards presents the Benjamin Franklin Medals, the Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award, the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, and the Bower Award for Business Leadership.
 

Awards Videos

View each year’s Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony and learn about the laureates and their incredible work. Videos are presented in collections by year. 

2023 2022  2021  2019 2018  2017  2016  2015

Looking for a specific laureate or subject? Check out the laureate search. Video profiles can be found on each laureate’s bio page.

Laureate Search